A case for smile

An ill-timed smile or an inappropriate smirk could spell doom many people

A smile, it is said is the shortest distance between two people.  It breaks barriers, bonds individuals, beckons peace, melts hostility, banishes bitterness and is an ambassador of goodwill.  None can ignore someone whose lips crease into a warm smile that conjures the image of Mona Lisa in an instant. Yet, an ill-timed smile or an inappropriate smirk could spell doom with many particularly the likes of principals, teachers, fathers, friends, mothers-in-law and neighbours. 

A smile is taboo during assembly and something that will never be tolerated by principals. I remember the day my friend got into trouble for smiling at her classmate, even if only for a brief moment, while the assembly was in progress. The retribution that was meted out to her was a knuckle breaking imposition, “I will not smile,” that drained her off a smile for a long time to follow. Teachers too abhor smiling students.  To them a smile is an indication of distraction.  “Stop grinning like Jackasses,” my high-school Math teacher would constantly caution us. To her a toothy grin was akin to making a mockery of the digits and numbers that ought to be looked upon with reverence and respect. So, while her class was in progress, there was a strict embargo on smiles of any kind, even the ones that came involuntarily out of satisfaction for cracking the x and y values of simultaneous equations.
Many disciplinarian fathers I’m told, detest the smiling countenances of their children. “What is there to smile all the time?” is a popular one-liner in their lexicon. In addition many friendships in my observation have turned sour because of a misjudged grin.  An innocent smile in the middle of a conversation is sometimes construed as sarcasm and showing contempt. 

“Flashing a smile at neighbours is a tricky practice,” confessed my friend after a bitter experience with a newly moved neighbour who happened to be a member of the grumpy brigade.  Unaware of his favourite disposition coupled with her enthusiasm to exhibit a friendly demeanour, my friend kept flashing her smiles at him only to be countered by morbid stares. “Smiling a lot can get daughters-in-law into big time trouble. Mothers-in-law take naturally to the serious and surly ones than they do with the chirpy and smiley ones,” wrote a marriage counselor in his thesis of “ways to manage mother-in-law/daughter-in-law feud”.   

Liked the story?

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0